Impact of air pollution and weather on dry eye

Jordan T. Mandell, Maria Idarraga, Naresh Kumar, Anat Galor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Air pollution has broad effects on human health involving many organ systems. The ocular surface is an excellent model with which to study the effects of air pollution on human health as it is in constant contact with the environment, and it is directly accessible, facilitating disease monitoring. Effects of air pollutants on the ocular surface typically manifest as dry eye (DE) symptoms and signs. In this review, we break down air pollution into particulate matter (organic and inorganic) and gaseous compounds and summarize the literature regarding effects of various exposures on DE. Additionally, we examine the effects of weather (relative humidity, temperature) on DE symptoms and signs. To do so, we conducted a PubMed search using key terms to summarize the existing literature on the effects of air pollution and weather on DE. While we tried to focus on the effect of specific exposures on specific aspects of DE, environmental conditions are often studied concomitantly, and thus, there are unavoidable interactions between our variables of interest. Overall, we found that air pollution and weather conditions have differential adverse effects on DE symptoms and signs. We discuss these findings and potential mitigation strategies, such as air purifiers, air humidifiers, and plants, that may be instituted as treatments at an individual level to address environmental contributors to DE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3740
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Air quality
  • Dry eye
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Outdoor air pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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